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Ambulance Corps Volunteers Win Prestigious Award

Douglaston Brothers Helped Deliver Baby During Last Year's Blizzard

Sometimes, nice guys finish first.

Douglaston brothers Frank and Joseph Pollicino have received a “Guardian of Life” award from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City for their acts of heroism during December's massive blizzard.

The siblings expressed pride at the accolade.

“I didn’t expect to win. It came out of the blue,” said Joseph Pollicino. “Having professionals applaud me was a great feeling. It’s an honor. I can’t really describe it.”

The brothers, who are members of the Little Neck-Douglaston Volunteer Ambulance Corps, delivered a baby at a pregnant woman’s Bayside home around 1 a.m. on Dec. 27 at a time when the city was paralyzed by snow.

Ambulances were stuck in the snow throughout northeast Queens, so the brothers had to work alone.

It was the first delivery for these emergency medical technicians, who typically deal with car accidents, strokes and heart attacks.

First, Frank, 23, and Joseph, 20, had to break through a four-foot wall of snow to enter the woman’s apartment building at 211th Street and 21st Avenue. To make matters more complicated, it was a breech birth, which meant the baby’s feet were coming out in front of the head and the child ran the danger of not getting sufficient oxygen.

Following the birth, the Pollicinos transported mother and child to Flushing Hospital as a fire truck and a garbage truck helped clear out snow for them.

After leaving the hospital, the Pollicinos couldn’t get back to the ambulance corps' headquarters due to unplowed snow. They were stuck for 11 hours.

Maria Diglio, the executive director in charge of operations for Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, said her agency gives out the "Guardian of Life" award only once a year.

Thus, it is considered a top honor in the volunteer ambulance community as it recognizes “individuals who have done something outstanding in the field,” she said.

Frank Pollicino dedicated the prize to all the members of ambulance corps - and, specifically, to the emergency responders who worked on the night of the blizzard.

“The award should be passed on to everybody,” he said.

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